The Russian Connection: House GOP Obstruction

Now that the House GOP is the minority party, they are still finding ways to scuttle any investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election and Donald Trump’s conspiracy to become president. In a segment on The Rachel Maddow Show, the Good Doctor Maddow explained how the Republicans are digging to slow the process in on at least one very important committee, the House Intelligence Committee.

Are Republicans keeping House Intelligence Committee unstaffed to slow Mueller investigation?
By Matthew Rozca

House Republicans are refusing to name members to the House Intelligence Committee and, in the process, are effectively stalling special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal.

After pointing out that the arrest of former Trump adviser Roger Stone last week had been possible because the House Intelligence Committee provided a transcript of Stone’s testimony to the special counsel’s office, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow explained on Friday that the committee could also provide transcripts for testimony from other current and former Trump officials. If it was revealed to Mueller that they had lied under oath, he could file criminal charges against those individuals and perhaps acquire more information about the president in the process.

The catch, though, is that House Republicans have been slow to assign members to the committee. [..]

Maddow mentioned that House Republicans had already named members for 23 other committees, including less important committees like the Joint Committee on the Library, which makes it even more suspicious that a committee as significant as the Intelligence Committee has not been fully staffed yet. She also pointed out that the committee’s chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., would be able to send Mueller’s team the transcripts for all of the Trump-associated witnesses who appeared before them within 48 hours of when the committee became operational. Because Schiff has already said that sending these materials to Mueller would be his first order of business, it is likely that fully staffing the committee would greatly accelerate the Mueller probe.

Earlier in the program, Maddow also disclosed that a source close to Mueller’s investigation had told her team that the special counsel’s office had viewed “a number” of testimony transcripts from the Senate investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal. This further reinforced Maddow’s conclusion that important information may be available in the House transcripts.

It’s a shame the leaders of the House GOP, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and his partners in crime, Representatives Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Devin Nunes (R-CA), can’t be indicted for obstruction of justice and withholding evidence.